The Socata TB are a series light single engine piston aircraft manufactured by Socata and designed in the late 1970s. All aircraft (with the exception of the TB9) have a variable pitch propeller. The TB series have become widely used instruction and touring aircraft and are often used for instrument training.
Design work on the TB series began in the mid 1970s to replace Socata's successful Rallye series of aircraft. The TB20 model was certified in France on December 18, 1980. The first delivery to a customer happened in March 1981 in Germany. All aircraft in the series were modernised in 2000 and as a result the letters GT were added (GT standing for Generation Two). The GT versions have a bigger cabin and aerodynamic improvements. The most noticeable differences between the first and second generation models are the wing tips, which are rounder on the older models, and the vertical stabilizer, which is curved on the lower front on the GT models. The looks of the rear windows have also changed, being more blended with the fuselage on the GT models.
Plans were to move the production of the TB20 and TB21 models, together with a new model only known as the TB2X, to Romania. TB2X was the working name of a new model that would most likely be similar to the TB20 Trinidad, but with a diesel engine. According to a Dutch news site, it was decided in 2006 that the production of the TB series will be halted. However, there has been no official statement from EADS Socata indicating this, though the current orderbook of EADS Socata does not include any more aircraft of the TB series, with the last three ordered TB aircraft having been delivered in 2006. As of 2008, the TB GT Series is built to order only.
The aircraft are all very similar looking both inside and out but only the TB20 and TB21 have a retractable gear. Probably the biggest difference between the models is the engine power which increases from 160hp for the TB9, 180hp for the TB10, 200hp for the TB200 and to 250hp on the TB20 and 21. The only difference between the TB20 and the TB21 is that the latter is turbocharged, hence the letters TC. All models have a constant-speed propeller except for the TB9, which has a fixed pitch propeller. On the fixed gear models, the landing gear fairings are optional.
The TB series consists of five aircraft:
Published in July 2009.
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